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Above reproach: Honor Guard offers Airmen the chance to serve

Tech. Sgt. David Seng, left, and Tech Sgt. Daniel Fox, members of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., prepare their uniforms for a funeral detail in New York Dec. 9. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and Northeastern New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Tech. Sgt. David Seng, left, and Tech. Sgt. Daniel Fox, members of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., prepare their uniforms for a funeral detail in New York Dec. 9. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and northeast New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Above reproach: Honor Guard offers Airmen the chance to serve

Tech. Sgt. David Seng, Patriot Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., prepares for a funeral detail Dec. 9. Hanscom's Patriot Honor Guard provides funeral honor services in New England and northeast New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Above reproach: Honor Guard offers Airmen the chance to serve

Staff Sgt. Hailee Brohman, a member of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., prepares for a funeral detail Dec. 9. Hanscom's Patriot Honor Guard provides funeral honor services in New England and northeast New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Above reproach: Honor Guard offers Airmen the chance to serve

Staff Sgt. Hailee Brohman, Patriot Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., inspects her ceremonial dress uniform prior to a funeral detail Dec. 9. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and northeast New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Above reproach: Honor Guard offers Airmen the chance to serve

Members of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., go over details for a funeral the team will attend in New York Dec. 9. Hanscom's Patriot Honor Guard provides funeral honor services in New England and northeast New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Fox, left, and Tech. Sgt. Meldion Shehu, members of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., load equipment in a van for a military funeral detail in New York Dec. 9. Hanscom's Patriot Honor Guard provides funeral honor services in New England and Northeastern New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Fox, left, and Tech. Sgt. Meldion Shehu, members of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., load equipment in a van for a military funeral detail in New York Dec. 9. Hanscom's Patriot Honor Guard provides funeral honor services in New England and northeast New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Above reproach: Honor Guard offers Airmen the chance to serve

Members of the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., participate in a training session Dec. 12. The Honor Guard provides funeral honor services in New England and northeast New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Tech. Sgt. David Seng, right, Patriot Honor Guard member, provides firing party instruction to 2nd Lt. Amanda Marciniak, an Honor Guard augmentee, during a training session at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 12. The honor guard team provides funeral honor services in New England and Northeastern New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Tech. Sgt. David Seng, right, Patriot Honor Guard member, provides firing party instruction to 2nd Lt. Amanda Marciniak, an Honor Guard augmentee, during a training session at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 12. The honor guard team provides funeral honor services in New England and northeast New York for active duty, retirees and veterans who served honorably in the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Second Lt. Amanda Marciniak, Patriot Honor Guard augmentee, practices with others during a training session at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 12. The Patriot Honor Guard conducts training sessions each Thursday at their building for Airmen currently part of the augmentee program and those that are interested in joining the Honor Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Second Lt. Amanda Marciniak, Patriot Honor Guard augmentee, practices with others during a training session at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 12. The Patriot Honor Guard conducts training sessions each Thursday at their building for Airmen currently part of the augmentee program and those who are interested in joining the Honor Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Staff Sgt. Christian Bagtas, left, salutes the flag held by Corey Silfen, Patriot Honor Guard ceremonial guardsmen, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 10. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and Northeastern New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)
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Staff Sgt. Christian Bagtas, left, salutes the flag held by Staff Sgt. Corey Silfen, both ceremonial guardsmen for the Patriot Honor Guard at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., during a training session Dec. 10. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and northeast New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

Senior Airman Dylan Gonsalves, Patriot Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman, stands for a portrait in his ceremonial dress uniform at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 10. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and Northeastern New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)
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Senior Airman Dylan Gonsalves, Patriot Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman, stands for a portrait in his ceremonial dress uniform at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 10. The Patriot Honor Guard participated in more than 2,300 funeral honors for active duty, retirees and veterans in New England and northeast New York in 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The ribbon rack is perfect, down to the quarter inch; the uniform is sharp; the cover is spotless; and the gloves are pristine with not a thread out of place.

On the walls in the building where they train, an Honor Guard Charge serves as a constant reminder that an Airman’s “standards of conduct must be above reproach, for I represent all others in my service.”

“I was always taught to honor those who served before us,” said Staff Sgt. Hailee Brohman, a full-time member of the Hanscom Air Force Base Patriot Honor Guard. “It is a humbling experience to hand the flag to a veteran’s next of kin.”

The team supports areas throughout New England and New York, providing military honors at veterans’ funerals, and comfort to the families left behind.

“The opportunity to support families in their time of grief is really remarkable,” said 1st Lt. Gregory Barrow, officer in charge, Patriot Honor Guard.

Second Lt. Amanda Marciniak, a project engineer for the Quick Reaction Capabilities Branch, recently served as a first-time officer in charge during an active duty funeral in New York.

“Having full military honors really put in perspective why we do what we do and how much it means to the family,” she said.

With a full-time staff of no more than 10 Airmen located at Hanscom, the unit relies on the augmentee program as a force multiplier.

The team’s area of responsibility stretches from the northern reaches of Maine to large parts of New York, covering approximately 78,000 square miles.

Having those resources available allows our team to accomplish our mission without Airmen traveling great distances, said Barrow, who highlighted that the team has supported more than 2,300 veterans’ funerals this year.

Augmentees include Hanscom Airmen as well as Airmen from Air National Guard and Reserve personnel throughout the AOR.

Members honor a veteran by playing taps, folding the American flag and presenting it to the next of kin.

“If anyone is looking to strengthen their connection with the Air Force or a chance to make a difference in the community, I strongly recommend the Honor Guard,” Marciniak said.

She also highlighted that it has helped her grow as a person by bringing new, humbling perspectives that made her thankful for the opportunity.

“Serving in the Honor Guard has really helped remind me why I joined the Air Force,” said Marciniak, who is an Honor Guard augmentee.

Anyone interested in learning more may attend the team’s weekly training session on Thursdays at 8 a.m. at Building 1210.

Barrow said the team provides motivated Airmen with a challenge, a good career-broadening opportunity and a chance to reconnect with their military heritage. Benefits include an Air Force Achievement Medal after 50 details, as well as professional growth for those serving as an officer in charge, which can earn company grade officers an Air Force Commendation Medal.

According to the Department of Defense, “By law, an honor guard detail for the burial of an eligible veteran consists of at least two members of the U.S. armed forces, and at least one member of the detail must be a representative from the deceased veteran’s service branch.”